Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


January 23, 2014

Ghosts in the moonlight on the rails

I’ve always said it ain’t just the freedom that lets a bum enjoy life as much as the mode of transportation he uses.

For years the railroad tracks through our town had been used for nothing but producing rust and growing weeds.

Admittedly, a weed-choked rail bed is an excellent place for hunting rabbits, but more often than not I used the old rails for practicing my tight rope walking ability, using my shotgun as a balancing pole while pretending to be one of the Great Wallendas. Occasionally, a rabbit would scurry away unmolested while I daydreamed about those monstrous machines that plied these routes with their seemingly limitless power.

One day, after years of silence, I heard the faint blast of a melodious horn. Running from the house, I watched as a diesel engine pulling a handful of cars lumbered over the crossing a block south of us. With a rush of excitement I realized that once again I had the means of converting pennies from legal tender into large, thin wafers of copper. I might even lay a dime or two on the tracks. Turning coins into expendable(pun intended) trinkets isn’t recommended for safety’s sake, but it is one of the fond memories I have of the era of the railroads.

Growing up when trains were a major source of transportation and freight hauling, I developed a fondness for them that continues today (since those of you who live along today’s active tracks may not agree, when stoning my house, please use a size that I can use on my driveway). My mother, who seemed intent on working us kids into an early grave, opened a small restaurant along the tracks in our home town and put my sister and I to work bussing tables. Cleaning dirty dishes didn’t anchor my ambitions for a future profession in the food service business, so my sister and I sneaked out often to play around the boxcars parked on sidings. Daily passenger trains would find us standing by the tracks as these thundering behemoths rushed by in a hurricane of noise and wind, trailing sleek passenger cars filled with travelers to such exotic far off places as Cincinnati and Louisville.

Text Only
  • "Transcendence" movie poster Movie preview: “Transcendence”

    Plot: A brilliant innovator in the field of Artificial Intelligence becomes the bridge between man and machine in this sci-fi thriller.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Bears" movie poster Movie preview: “Bears”

    Plot: Disney Nature’s 2014 entry chronicles a year up in the life of a family of Alaskan brown bears who call the state’s stunning coastal mountains and shores their home.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Haunted House 2" movie poster Movie preview: “A Haunted House 2”

    Plot: Malcolm, who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. But, upon moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is distinctively director Anderson With the summer movie season right around the corner, we looked back at an under-the-radar film released this spring - director Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (R). A highly recognizable ensemble cast is headed up by Ralph Feinnes, who star

    April 17, 2014

  • New arrivals at Library New items at the Greensburg-Decatur County Library can be found and reserved at Non Fiction Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte The Neanderthals Rediscovered by Dimitra Papagianni Inheritance by Sharon Moalem The Spe

    April 17, 2014

  • Get down and muddy on Mother's Day INDIANAPOLIS - The Hollis Adams Foundation (HAF) will be hosting its first Mudder’s Day Run on Saturday, May 10, at the Sertoma Club of East Indianapolis. The run will feature more than 15 obstacles over a three mile long course, with mud to spare. H

    April 17, 2014

  • Most won't care about 'Winter Soldier's' 'message' FROM THE DEN AT WOLF THEATRES -- "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is a comic-book film with fairly lofty aspirations. But while this second go-round of retro-hero Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America - he of "the greatest generation" - falls sho

    April 17, 2014

  • "Heaven Is For Real" movie poster Movie preview: “Heaven Is For Real”

    Plot: When a little boy has a near death experience neither his friends or family believe him until he talks about those who died years before.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SDES “Pinocchio” is great family fun

    WESTPORT – Fifth and sixth grade students at South Decatur Elementary School (SDES) will stage a production of Disney’s “My Son Pinocchio Jr.” at 7 p.m. on April 24 and 25 at the school.

    After the roles were cast, students began practicing under the tutelage of SDES music teacher Karen Meeker in September.

    April 16, 2014

  • "Rio 2" movie poster Movie preview: “Rio 2”

    Plot: In this animated sequel, Blu and his family take flight for the Amazon after Jewel decides their children should explore the world.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo